My sister Chrisie turned 21 just a few weeks after I had baby Modette. Chrisie is a twin and her other half was going to be in Alaska and not around to celebrate. When I learned that our Mom was also going to be out of town for the special occasion, I knew — new baby or not — I had to throw Chrisie a party. Aimee agreed to help me pull off the surprise.
With less than a week to plan, we needed a theme, fast! What better for turning 21 than a Casino Night? There was no time for mailed invitations, so we called, texted and emailed out invites then set to work creating simple, impactful items that were easy and cost effective.
First up, I made this homemade “21” Glitter Sign out of a cardboard box I had lying around the house. On my computer I created and printed a number 2 and 1 in Arial font as large as would fit on a single page. I traced the numbers onto the cardboard and cut out with a craft knife. I painted with red acrylic paint and sprinkled with glitter. I placed the finished numbers on the fireplace mantle, next to a fun hanging decoration made with playing card symbols.
To make the Playing Card Symbol Mobile download our free printable template and trace the icons onto red and black craft paper. Cut out the symbols and then sew together using a long, straight stitch.
I just love how the food table turned out. We kept the color palette for all the snacks relatively simple so it would have big impact. We had a combination of sweet and salty items that were red, black and white: Red Vines, Strawberries, Bell Peppers, Oreos, Rice Krispie Treats and Popcorn. The offering was delicious but also surprisingly healthy for party food!
I already had this large red canvas leftover from the family room in an old house. We dug it out to use as a backdrop, and the canvas pulled everything together and really made the Playing Card Garland stand out.
When searching for casino party decor ideas, I spotted this garland, and Aimee made a couple for our party using a deck of poker cards, yarn and hot glue gun.
Oreo cookies totally remind me of poker chips, and I also remembered Kevin Sharkey’s idea for an Oreo Cake — no bake, you just stack ’em up. It was the perfect centerpiece.
We decided actual cake was a must for a birthday party (otherwise where would we stick the candles?), so the top layer of our Oreo Cake was devil’s food with chocolate ganache frosting and cookie crumbs pressed into the side. Yum.
One of my favorite details from this party was the Playing Cards pedestal for the treat jars. I’ve always been fascinated by Houses of Cards and the whole card-stacking hobby, and I knew we had to incorporate something along those lines into the decor on the food table.
It certainly looked like those playing cards were holding up a big glass jar filled with goodies, but we weren’t defying gravity after all. Since we’re not very good at stacking cards, we had to cheat a bit — instead we took a toilet paper roll wrapped in black paper and glued playing cards around the sides. (OK, I guess we cheated a lot!)
We lined the serving platters with black and white patterned paper that we designed and printed out. There’s a benefit to a black and white color scheme — no color printing required! We laminated the print outs to keep the food from soiling them, and as a bonus they’re now reusable.
Want to make your own tray liners? Download our free printable black and white patterned papers.
The snack table was within close reach of the game table so guests could make frequent trips to refill their plates.
Since we really don’t gamble, Superdad agreed to do some research online and learn the rules for Roulette and Blackjack so he could teach us all. He got really into his role as “dealer” and picked up a vest at a thrift store and even made a name tag so he looked like an official Las Vegas dealer.
Here is our shiny new mini roulette wheel that we found online. I think it was the perfect touch to bring our Las Vegas party theme to life.
The party favors for our Casino Night birthday party were these cute little packages of dice. I included six dice in each baggie — enough to play Farkle, our family’s favorite dice game.
You could use the same black and white printed paper that lined the food platters. I had some black and white fabric prints already on hand, so I used them instead. I starched the fabric pretty heavily then cut it down to size. The bottom edge was trimmed with pinking sheers to give some nice texture.
The dice were held in a mini zip-top bag, and I sandwiched the baggie between the fabric pieces and then stitched into place with a straight stitch. While sewing, I popped in the little, red “21” tags when my needle got just under an inch from the edge.